Democratic District Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Thursday that Washington, D.C., residents aged 2 and older must begin wearing masks indoors Saturday regardless of vaccination status.
“I know D.C. residents have been very closely following the public health guidelines and they will embrace this,” she said during a press briefing, according to The Washington Post.
“This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a new approach, asking people in localities with more than 50 new cases per 100,000 residents per week — including the District, where case rates have risen sharply in recent weeks — to again wear masks indoors. Bowser said Thursday that she would go further and mandate it,” per the Post.
As the Post noted, “While D.C.’s case rate has quadrupled recently, the new daily case rate, now about eight per 100,000 residents, is far lower than what it was during the worst of the pandemic. The delta variant plaguing much of the country has been scarcely detected in the District, and as cases among vaccinated people are generally not severe, the city’s hospitals are not overwhelmed by covid-19 patients.”
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) criticized Bowser for her new mandate, tweeting, “This is exactly what I warned about. Democrats like @MayorBowser are ignoring science & grabbing power to create fear & control your life – yet ignoring violent crime waves. We can’t let them drive America into another lockdown. We can’t let them close our schools & businesses.”
This is exactly what I warned about. Democrats like @MayorBowser are ignoring science & grabbing power to create fear & control your life – yet ignoring violent crime waves.
We can’t let them drive America into another lockdown. We can’t let them close our schools & businesses. https://t.co/BCjG03SH3E
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) July 29, 2021
Bowser has recently been asking for more money to fund D.C. police amid a surge of gun violence in the nation’s capital as officers leave the force in record numbers.
Bowser “has requested an additional $11 million from the City Council to pay for the hiring and training of 20 additional officers in the 2021 financial year, and 150 additional officers in 2022,” as the Daily Mail reported.
We are investing in public health and social service approaches to change outcomes
We also need to ensure the Chief of Police has the officers he needs to keep our neighborhoods safe
— Muriel Bowser (@MurielBowser) July 26, 2021
Bowser’s announcement comes the same day that U.S. Capitol Police were instructed to begin arresting vaccinated staff and visitors on the House side if they do not wear masks, according to a police memo obtained and circulated by Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) on social media. As The Daily Wire reported:
The memo, issued Wednesday by USCP Chief Thomas Manger, reads in part: “If a visitor or staff member fails to wear a mask after a request is made to do so, the visitor or staff shall be denied entry to House office buildings or the House side of the Capitol.”
“Any person who fails to either comply or leave the premises after being asked to do so would be subject to an arrest for Unlawful Entry,” the memo continued. It stipulated that a member of Congress who refuses to mask up will be not be arrested but rather “reported to the House Sergeant at Arms’ Office.”
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